Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

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Hawklords: Flying Doctor
Hawklords: 25 Years On (Esoteric/Southbound)

This will be reasonably brief because there is perhaps a limited audience for this double CD reissue of the '78 album and EP by an off-shoot of the sci-fi prog-rock band Hawkwind.

Inspired by the science fiction of Michael Moorcock, Hawkwind's Dave Brock and Robert Calvert created Hawklords after Hawkwind briefly fell apart (they are still a going concern in some form or other).

And -- oddly enough -- for a prog-rock band notable for loooong and freewheeling performances as Hawkwind (with towering dancer Stacia on interpretive dance), Hawklords turned an ear to the harder sound of New Wave which gave them a little more musical focus and economy.

Their sole album was 25 Years On -- a kind of weird tale about some prison-like future and such like (we are all puppets but who is the master? etc) -- and they toured it briefly as a concept stage show.

Their space-rock style (with wooshing synths) put them in the same camp as early King Crimson (the quieter KC) and a more economic Yes, but on songs like the title track and Flying Doctor they have all the jerkiness and rock-nod of New Wavers such as Lena Lovich, Talking Heads and the early XTC (and maybe even early Split Enz).

Within a year or so Hawkwind had reformed . . . so Hawklords left a small legacy, we might say.

This double set brings together the 25 Years On album with a couple of single mixes, and the earlier EP which appeared under the name Sonic Assassins, plus album out-takes and demos.

Quite interesting (and even contemporary sounding in places) but mostly a footnote in prog-rock.

And one which has reformed. 

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